The St Leger meeting at Doncaster officially begins on Wednesday, but the card is so mundane that it’s like starting the World Cup with San Marino versus the Faroe Islands. Thursday’s card is much more like it, so much so that the bosses at ITV have kicked Quincy and Kojak off the ITV4 schedule, and the afternoon’s programme begins with a fillies’ handicap at 13:50.
Just a day after Timeform’s annual Golf Day, K Club would be an apt winner, but – much like my own performances, she’s struggled to make a real impression on her last two starts. Preference is for Lady Cosette, who is presumably named after the character in Victor Hugo’s musical about a down-in-the-mouth Northern comic: Les Miserables. A win for the Jeremy Noseda-trained filly, who has blinkers on for the first time, would cheer everyone up.
The May Hill Stakes is up next (14:25) and is a race that Sir Henry Cecil used to dominate. Another Sir – Mark Prescott – has an interesting contender in recent runaway Brighton winner Miss Celestial, however the likes of Dubai Beauty, Peach Tree and Star Terms are all open to more improvement.
Preference is for Dubai Beauty who shaped like a smart prospect when winning first-time up at Newmarket and she can provide Saeed bin Suroor with a third win in the race. Karl Burke won the race last year with Laurens – who has won three Groups 1s since – so any support for Divinity should be noted, though the recent Nottingham and Thirsk winner has a fair way to go until she reaches God-like status.
‘The Hills’ follows the personal and professional lives of several young adults living in Los Angeles, according to Wikipedia, though, as the great Alan Rickman in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves once threatened, I’d rather have my heart cut out with a spoon than watch that guff.
Robin Hood is the name given to Doncaster’s airport, and there’s a chance that Horseplay could fly home to take the Park Hill Stakes at 15:00.
She looks sure to relish the step up to this longer trip and is taken to confirm Lancashire Oaks placings with God Given. Pilaster – named after a rectangular column, especially one projecting from a wall – has stood out in her own way of late, winning her last three starts, and is expected to be bang there despite having to carry a 3lb penalty courtesy of her Lillie Langtry win at Glorious Goodwood.